This is a subject that’s been touched on twice on this site already. Once by Streiff, and one other time by Caleb. Both should be read to get you caught up on the situation, but the rundown is that both Twitter, and USA Today suspended Glenn Reynolds – a.k.a. InstaPundit – for the following tweet.
Reynolds has now returned to Twitter, but USA Today has suspended him for a month for his comment. What’s more, the University of Tennessee Law is “investigating” Reynold’s comments, and stating the Dean does not stand by Reynold’s comments at all. His suspension, and the reasoning for it, angered me enough to go on a tirade on Twitter, but I want to make something clear here for those who didn’t see it.
What Reynolds said wasn’t nasty, or hateful. It wasn’t even remotely racist, though many would like to play it off as if it was.
No, what Reynolds said was pure common sense. First off, it’s important to note that these are not “protests,” these are riots, and the media would do well to learn the difference. Throughout these riots you often see, or even hear rioters encouraging others to drag people out of their cars, beat them bloody, then steal from them. Streiff pointed to the L.A. Riots when Reginald Denny was dragged out of his truck and beaten to near death. Recently, during the Milwaukee riots, you can see people attempting the same, with the camera man egging them on.
During these moments, it is imperative to get away. These rioters aren’t out to speak peacefully on the struggles of the black community, and how they can better improve relations with police. They are out to harm, destroy, and as demonstrated in Charlotte and L.A., kill. Under no circumstances should you throw your car into park, lock your doors, and hope for the best. The only thing to do is throw it into first, punch the gas, and get out of there as fast as possible. Your well being, and the well being of those with you is reliant on you doing this.
The nasty result here is that doing this may mean that your attackers will go under your wheel. Flooring it may result in your truck or car mounting a face or two. Thing is, you can’t be held responsible for that. These people are trying to hurt you and yours. If they end up as roadkill, that’s their fault. They were the ones who put themselves into this position, not you. What ever injuries they sustain is due to their offensive actions, and your defensive reactions. They wouldn’t charge at a man pointing a gun at them, and charging a man with a hunk of metal driven by horsepower isn’t any different.
What bothers me is that those who took action against Reynold’s comments seem unable to differentiate between good defensive violence, and bad offensive violence. One is committed with the intention of preserving life, the other is committed in order to take it. What Reynolds is suggesting with his blunt wording is utilizing the first in order to deny the latter. That innocent people should do what is necessary, no matter how ugly, to defend themselves from a senseless attack.
Is USA Today, Twitter, and UTK suggesting that in these situations people should do nothing? That they should just allow rioters to forcefully remove them from their cars, and resign themselves to whatever fate has in store? One woman close to the riots had her children in her car. Are those punishing Reynold for his comment suggesting that these children’s lives should be put in danger so that the well being of rioters is preserved?
This is utter lunacy. Not only that, it’s highly irresponsible and should be a stain on their reputation henceforth. Shame on USA Today, shame on Twitter, and shame on University of Tennessee Law. Their capitulation to senseless violence for the sake of politics is disgusting, and all three should apologize to Reynolds immediately for their asininity in painting a good man as malicious for suggesting common sense actions in the face of life-threatening danger.
Allow me to back Reynolds up. Yes. Run them down. If these people are endangering your life, or have harmful intent, defend yourself by giving your car some gas and using the tonnage of your vehicle as a blunt instrument to power your way to safety. Your attackers might sustain injury, but so what? That’s their problem, not yours.
Sometimes violence is necessary, and what’s more, sometimes it’s good.